The MNY Spotlight

“Fashion is the Armor to Survive the Reality of Everyday Life”


“Fashion is the Armor to Survive the Reality of Everyday Life” - Bill Cunningham


My mornings are much different these days.  My alarm goes off, I brush my teeth, and depending on whether my five-year-old has in-person or distanced learning, I throw on a sweater and hop on zoom for the morning Mestiza team touch-base. From the second I open my eyes to the moment I sit at my desk, no more than 20 minutes has passed. I’m almost embarrassed to admit that this has been my reality for the past 10 months. Gone are the days where I made the effort to agonize over my outfit, put makeup on, do my hair. Those daily rituals were vital for me and I didn’t even know it; so when I read the words of the late street style photographer Bill Cunningham “fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life,” I realized that somewhere in the midst of this pandemic I  had let my own armor go.  And so, even though it was 4PM on Friday, I got out of my chair, walked into my closet, and put a dress on. Nothing fancy, just NOT athleisure. And I immediately felt better. In that moment I realized that fashion really is the armor we need to survive the reality of everyday life, and the armor we need now to escape the redundancies of working from home. 

Last week, Louisa talked about how after years of us having an unwavering commitment to building a brand based on the simple belief that beautiful dresses should be for everyone, it was indeed ok to pivot. And while these days we are all pivoting our priorities, I think it’s important that we don’t forget to invest in the little things that make us happy. The world can be stressful and overwhelming, and it can be easy to tell ourselves that something as minor as a well-tailored shirt is an indulgence rather than a necessity. But there is a difference between surviving versus thriving, between dragging yourself out of bed at the last moment versus taking time to focus on the things that bring you joy. And whether that’s a beautiful dress, or avocado toast for breakfast, or an extra coffee after lunch, I believe it’s important that we take the time for ourselves. As Bill Cunningham so eloquently pointed out, it can be harsh trying “to survive the reality of everyday life,” and I, for one, am tired of going without my armor.
What little things have you been doing for yourself during the pandemic? 

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